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Posted On: 7 February 2014 11:46 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

Gang involved in repacking expired food items busted

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Health inspectors of Al Rayyan Municipality have busted a gang of expatriates who were involved in repacking expired food items for sale in the local market.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, the inspectors found the staff of a restaurant engaged in “manipulating” expired food products from a facility at their accommodation in Al Gharafa area. The restaurant itself was located in Doha under the jurisdiction of the Doha Municipality.
“They used to extend the original expiry dates of food items and put the expired food into new packages with new expiry dates,” the statement said. “It was done in a way that the proper dates would not be discovered by consumers.”
In a surprise raid at both the accommodation and the restaurant, health control inspectors in charge of Al Gharafa area seized the “manipulated” food items. The raid was co-ordinated with the Doha Municipality and security agencies.
“Eventually, they spotted the store where the expired food items were kept and simultaneously raided the restaurant in Doha from where the same types of food items were confiscated. A violation report was filed at the designated police station to proceed with the legal steps against the outlet and its management.”
The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning said that violators would be dealt with decisively.
A few weeks earlier, MMUP inspectors had spotted a fake company which used to pack and sell discarded meat collected from butcheries. Some Asian expatriates were arrested in this connection. The “mutton” was sold to groceries and small supermarkets.
Several members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) have said such incidents revealed the “serious malfunctioning of the food control system in the country.” They said it allowed large amounts of meat that did not comply with the approved standards into local outlets.
The CMC members called on the authorities to be more vigilant and enforce the laws strictly. They have asked for the creation of an independent authority for consumer protection and control on markets.
The members also demanded that the names of violating outlets and restaurants should be published in the local media along with the designated penalties and fines. This, they said, would prove to be a deterrent for others by exposing the violators and making customers aware of the problem.